What is Periodontal Disease?
The buildup of bacteria on your teeth and gums forms a thin, almost invisible layer of film on your teeth and gums called plaque. This plaque continues to build up as the bacteria grow and harden, and tends to concentrate its growth at the place where your teeth emerge from your gums.
Periodontal Disease develops as the plaque buildup of this bacterial infection begins to destroy the soft tissues and nerves surrounding your teeth. Without treatment, and removal of this damaging plaque, the infection will spread and begin to destroy harder surfaces, such as your teeth and the bones of your jaw.
Periodontal Disease Symptoms
The onset of Periodontal Disease is gradual, and often people don’t even know that a bacterial infection has developed. In the beginning there will be a steady weakening of the soft tissues and early symptoms may include bleeding when teeth are brushed.
As the Periodontal Disease progresses, the plaque will become harder and less likely to be brushed away with regular teeth brushing. This harder plaque is called tartar. As the tartar builds up it begins to create a space between your teeth and gums and this gives the bacterial infection more room to advance into the sensitive areas below your gums.
As the tartar buildup progresses below the gums, you may see advanced symptoms of the Periodontal Disease in your mouth:
- More obvious bleeding during teeth brushing and flossing
- Changes in the color of your gum tissues
- Gums become more sensitive and possibly swollen
- Gums may recede, or pull back away from the tooth surface
- Bad breath
- Teeth that become loose
- Mouth sores
One of the initial symptoms – bleeding – actually feeds the bacteria and encouraging its growth.
What You Should Do
First, always practice good oral hygiene; brushing and flossing regularly. And see your dentist regularly too. But also be on the watch for symptoms of Periodontal Disease and contact your dentist between visits if you suspect you have any of the symptoms of Periodontal Disease.